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Old 05-23-2011, 03:46 PM
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Default Belgian Shepherds

I think they are SO incredibly gorgeous, but I know nothing about them. Please post anything you know. Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:13 PM
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Which ones? Are we talking Groendaels? Tervurens? Malinois? Laekenois?
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:04 PM
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Yeah, AKC really dropped the ball on the naming thing. I'm going to assume that the OP meant Groendaels.

They're my favorite variety. <3 I don't know anything other than that they're really pretty, and they don't seem too common as sport dogs. Tervs are one of the most common agility dogs in my area, and Mals of course are really popular in protection sports, but I've never seen a Groendael in any sports either in real life or the internet.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:35 PM
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My neighbor has one (Groendael), and I've never met him, but the dog is hella reactive and she has a tough time handling him. He's the only one I've ever seen in person, and I don't think that's the norm...but they don't seem as common as Mals or Tervs around here.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:42 PM
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I have had black Belgians (Belgian Sheepdogs or Groenendaels depending on who you ask) since the mid90s. They are fun loving, quirky, clever, good workers and can do well at lots of different sports. They are still a breed where the same dogs can excel in conformation and performance, which really was the deciding factor years ago for me with them vs. GSDs (my first love but you generally have to pick if you want a show dog or a performance dog). They are the least common variety of Belgian in AKC, besides the Laekens which are still in FSS.

As with all Belgians, you need to be very picky about who you buy from. IMO it is best to support breeders who are actively training their dogs for things other than conformation. IME many breeders who don't do anything but conformation with their dogs don't tend to look at temperament in terms of improving upon drive, biddability, nerves, etc but rather in a simplified good vs. bad way. Belgians should all be versatile enough to pursue any number of sports but sound and reasonable enough to make good companions for active owners.

The breed does need and thrive on socialization and training from puppyhood on. They tend to be naturally attentive to their people and willing to try whatever you want to try with them. They are supposed to be aloof with strangers but it depends on the individual's genetics and upbringing. I have been around Belgians who have every range of temperaments from very skittish and nervous to very bold and confident. A lot of issues people have with them could have been prevented or greatly improved on with proper socialization. Proper socialization doesn't mean you take the puppy to puppy class once a week. Puppies are best raised by going out and about multiple times a week, seeing new people, places things and experiences all sorts of new situations both at home and away. They need to be taught early what the rules are and how they are expected to act. As a breed Belgians tend to find ways to manipulate their situations. Not because they are "dominant" but because they are clever and they have nothing to do all day but learn how their environment works in relation to what they want. They can be quite impulsive, so impulse control is a must with them. All in all this is not really a breed to "casually own" - not a dog for someone who wants a dog to lay around the house and maybe run around the yard with their kids now and then. The breed really does best with active owners who like to have an interactive relationship with their dog. That said, they can be great pets for active pet owners, it just depends on what type of dog you enjoy and what you enjoy doing with your dog.

As for Belgians in sports, some of it depends on your area and what's common around you. It isn't uncommon to see black Belgians in sports here but there are lots of breeders in my general area. I have found them to be extremely well suited to agility and obedience and my youngest is showing promise in flyball too (and my oldest is doing flyball for fun and having a great time!)

You can see my youngest Whimsy progress from puppy training to competing in agility and rally (and some early flyball training) on my Youtube channel: YouTube - &#x202a;NPuccini's Channel&#x202c;&rlm;

And I have a FB page for the dogs: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alero...7245498?ref=ts
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:17 PM
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Yes, sorry, I meant Groendaels. However, I'd like to learn the difference between the different varieties as well.

Aleron, I REALLY enjoyed that video. Thanks so much for the info so far, guys!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Dixie's_Mom~ View Post
Yes, sorry, I meant Groendaels. However, I'd like to learn the difference between the different varieties as well.

Aleron, I REALLY enjoyed that video. Thanks so much for the info so far, guys!
Glad you enjoyed it! There are many more on my channel of Whim at various stages of training.

With Belgians, there is more of a difference between lines than between varieties. It is very common for Belgians to have multiple varieties in their pedigrees or for dogs to produce different varieties in their litters. Even within AKC, which is one of the most divided registries as far as the Belgian breeds go. For example...

This Terv has Groenendael parents. He was AKC registered as a Belgian Sheepdog because he was born in the US. He was shown and finished in Canada as a Belgian Shepherd Tervuren but couldn't be shown in AKC because he has a disqulaifying fault - he's brown!:



This Groenendael has a Terv parent. He is AKC registered as a Belgian Sheepdog because he was born in a country which recognizes the Belgians as varieties instead of breeds. If he was born in the US, he would not have be eligible for registration (unless his Terv parent was an AKC registered Belgian Sheepdog like the dog above):


And this Terv has Malinois parents and is AKC registered as a Malinois. In Canada or in UKC she would be registered as a Malinois (or if she was from a country which recognizes the Belgians as varieties instead of breeds):
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:54 PM
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Someday my dream is one of my working malinois personalities in a terv coat. <3 They're just so breath taking. I love groens but I'm a sucker for the red sable coats.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:04 AM
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I'd try a search on this forum - there has been a lot of great, informative topics on all 4 varieties. I recently made a thread about Groenendaels and Tervurens specifically and got some great answers.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Someday my dream is one of my working malinois personalities in a terv coat. <3 They're just so breath taking. I love groens but I'm a sucker for the red sable coats.
Sprite Working Belgian Tervuren

Not sure how similar these guys would be to the dogs you have, as there are a lot of differences even within working Mal lines depending on what the breeder is aiming for. These are Tervs who have working Mals in their pedigree and the breeder is well respected (and a great trainer!).
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